‘France battling fighters it helped arm’


Russia says the fighters France is battling in northern Mali are some of the very same ones it helped arm in Libya.

“In Mali, France is fighting against those it armed in Libya against (Muammar) Gaddafi’s regime in violation of the UN Security Council (arms) embargo,” AFP quoted Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying in extracts of a television interview published by Russian news agencies on Sunday.

In June 2011, Lavrov blasted France for violating a UN arms embargo on Libya by air-dropping weapons to fighters in Libya in order to help them fight against former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’ rule.

The UN 1970 resolution, adopted in February 26, 2011, imposed a comprehensive arms embargo on Libya.

France launched its war on Mali on January 11 under the pretext of halting the advance of fighters in the country. The war has left thousands of Malians homeless.

On February 1, 2013, Amnesty International condemned “serious human rights breaches” including the killing of children in the French war in Mali.

The rights organization said there was “evidence that at least five civilians, including three children, were killed in an airstrike” carried out by French forces against local fighters.

Analysts believe behind the military campaign are Mali’s untapped resources, including oil, gold, as well as the uranium in the region.



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